French nanny murder: Boyzone singer says he 'never' knew victim

French nanny murder: Boyzone singer says he 'never' knew victim
Copyright Facebook/Sophie Lionnet
By Cristina Abellan MatamorosReuters
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Boyzone singer Mark Walton says he never met murdered French nanny Sophie Lionnet and first heard her name from police.


Founding member of Irish boy band Boyzone, Mark Walton, who's become involved in the murder case of his ex-girlfriend's French nanny, told court he "never ever" had contact with the victim.

Sabrina Kouider, 35, and her partner Ouissem Medouni, 40, are accused of murdering 21-year-old Sophie Lionnet. They have admitted to trying to dispose of Lionnet's body but denied the charge of murder.

At the start of the trial, Prosecutor Richard Horwell said Kouider accused the nanny of being "in league" with Walton, adding that the couple "pressured and intimidated" Lionnet into admitting that Walton had come into their house and sexually abused the family with the help of an accomplice.

In video footage shown to jurors, Lionnet appears to make a confession before being killed by the couple, who planned to dispose of her body by cremating it, said Horwell.

According to Walton, he first heard of Lionnet on September 21, 2017, from police.

Asked several times by Horwell if he knew or ever talked to Lionnet, Walton responded: "no way, never".

'She would go crazy'

Walton told the court he met Kouider in 2011 in a bank in London and dated for about three years.

He said that after dating for a year, he moved in with Kouider and paid for her nannies but added that she would fire them over accusations of stealing and showing interest in him. The singer said they lived together for two years.

Walton described his relationship with Kouider as "probably the most turbulent relationship" he's ever been in.

"She would go from softly spoken French accent, then she would flip, get very angry, very loud and just not care where we were. She would just go crazy over something trivial."

According to Horwell, the couple planned to explain Lionnet's disappearance by "inventing a story that she had left their employment under something of a cloud and returned to France." Though the plan was thwarted after a neighbor called the authorities about the fire in the garden who then discovered Lionnet’s remains under the ashes.

Lionnet was allegedly underpaid, beaten, and not given enough to eat while she lived with the couple in their Wimbledon flat.

Horwell told the jury that Kouider was “vindictive, overbearing and controlling” while Lionnet was “timid, uncomplaining and especially vulnerable to manipulation and threats”.

The trial continues.

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